Notes on Stinson and Shannon's Fund

Your baseball body clock is probably out of whack this morning.

The Orioles are playing a 12:35 p.m. game today. It's Wednesday. Something doesn't feel quite right.

It's a travel day, with the Orioles flying to Oakland following Josh Stinson's debut with the club.

Stinson was given today's assignment instead of left-hander Zach Britton, but don't read too much into it. The Orioles could have gone either way. The reports on Britton are mostly favorable. The feeling within the organization is he's close to being ready to help them if a need arises.

Stinson will try to prevent a need from arising.

One current Blue Jay has faced Stinson. Infielder Emilio Bonifacio is 1-for-1. I'd bat him fourth.

The Orioles have a few guys who enjoy facing Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow. None more so than Adam Jones, who's 11-for-28 (.393) with a double, three homers and nine RBIs.

Nick Markakis is 7-for-22 (.318) with three doubles. J.J. Hardy is 5-for-15 (.333) with a double and two home runs. Nolan Reimold is 4-for-9 (.444) with a double and home run.

Taylor Teagarden will set the target for Stinson because of the early start. He's 0-for-3 against Morrow, but Matt Wieters is 2-for-18 (.111) with a home run. Not a terrible day to sit the two-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner.

Wieters usually asks to catch the new guys, no matter the schedule, but manager Buck Showalter isn't going to bring him back this quickly after a night game, and right before the start of a West Coast trip.

I need you to keep this date and event in mind:

The annual fundraiser for Shannon's Fund will take place on Saturday, May 18, from 1:45-3:30 p.m. before the Orioles' game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Tickets are $50 and may be obtained on orioles.com/shannonsfund.

Entrance is through the Fan Assistance Lobby at 323 W. Camden St. Doors open at 1:45 p.m.

This exclusive event features the following:

* Left field lower box game ticket
* Watch batting practice from the Roof Deck Bar
* Visit by an Orioles player
* Photos with the Oriole Bird
* Light refreshments including two complimentary drink tickets
* Orioles gift bag
* Silent auction on the main concourse to benefit Shannon's Fund

Contributions also can be made online.

This next part is also from the press release:

In 2008, the Orioles and OriolesREACH established Shannon's Fund, an endowment at the University of Maryland Medical Center to provide financial assistance to hospital patients and their families. Created in memory of Shannon Obaker - the team's former Director of Community Outreach who bravely fought cancer for over a year before passing away in 2007 at age 29 - Shannon's Fund is administered by the University of Maryland Medical Center. Funds are donated to patients and their family members as need arises to assist with the general expenses associated with the treatment process, including hospital parking, alternate housing, food costs and household bills.

People who knew Shannon knew of her passion for helping others, especially children and animals. In her role as community outreach director, Shannon coordinated charitable donation requests, scheduled player appearances in the community and arranged special visits for sick children who wanted to meet their baseball heroes. The Orioles and the Obaker family believe that the most meaningful way to remember Shannon is to reach out to help others because that is what Shannon cared about most.

This next part is from my heart:

The fundraiser really hits close to home for me. I can't believe that six years have passed since Shannon left us. We shared a lot of laughs - at the ballpark, at her desk in the warehouse, on road trips, during Happy Hours - and hers was always the loudest.

I can still hear that laugh, which used to cause people in restaurants to spin around in their chairs to find out where it was coming from. And I mean restaurants two blocks away. Best laugh ever!

You will never meet a sweeter person in this world. Such a beautiful heart. And she's still helping others six years later.

It's a wonderful cause in the name of a wonderful girl who's dearly missed around here.

It never makes sense to me when someone so young is taken from us, but I do know that we'll have lots to talk about one day.

She won't be hard to find. I'll just follow the laugh.

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